Tag Archives: Contemporary music

“Get Going!” goes into its second round: “We definitely have our fingers on the pulse of our age”

Last year, FONDATION SUISA awarded four innovation grants under the title “Get Going!” for the first time in order to promote groundbreaking creative concepts outside the usual boxes. The positive reactions that were received were overwhelming. At the end of June 2019, the call for contributions enters its second round. Text by FONDATION SUISA

FONDATION SUISA: “Get Going!” goes into its second round: “We definitely have our fingers on the pulse of our age”

The recipients of the “Get Going!” contributions 2018 (from top left to bottom right): Beat Gysin, the Duo Eclecta, Michael Künstle and Bertrand Denzler. (Photos: Anna Katharina Scheidegger; Andrea Ebener; Zak van Biljon; Rui Pinheiro)

Urs Schnell, Managing Director of FONDATION SUISA, explained the new promotion policy resolved by the foundation council, a year ago: “Instead of patting an artist on the shoulder by awarding them a prize after their success, we invest the money we have available with a focus on the future.” He adds: “Promotion instead of judgement is the goal, and as such, one would “want to increase the focus towards what lies ahead.”

No sooner said than done. The first invitation to bid for “Get Going!” led to more than 90 contributions. Such a significant interest for something completely new was simply overwhelming for him, Schnell adds. “We definitely have our fingers on the pulse of our age. Even though we did not expect it in such a degree since such an openly formulated invitation for contributions was, despite all analyses, an innovative shot in the dark.”

Bertrand Denzler, Michael Künstle, Beat Gysin and the Duo Eclecta (Andrina Bollinger and Marena Whitcher) were the first recipients in the context of “Get Going!”. The amount of CHF 25,000 each was attributed to them because they were able to convince the expert jury with their creative visions. Since this start-up funding is not linked to a result, it enables musicians to work without any financial or time pressure. “I believe that the time factor in an ever more hectic environment has become a goods which must not be underestimated in terms of its preciousness”, Schnell mentions in the context of one of the advantages of “Get Going!”.

Invitation to tender of “Get Going!” 2019 from the end of June

From the end of June, authors and musicians who can prove that they have a clear relation to current music creation in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, can apply to contribute to “Get Going!” again. In 2019, another four of such start-up fundings are awarded by the expert jury amounting to CHF 25,000 again.

It is important to mention that “Get Going!” does not compete with or affect any other support projects by FONDATION SUISA, in particular the current application system, existing partnerships, exhibitions and events abroad or the playing of music in classrooms.

Schnell elaborates: “On the contrary, the new model is, in terms of providing an important start-up support, a supplement to the existing types of promotion. We wish to explore new creative places and prevent in future that certain projects fall through the cracks.”

Urs Schnell knows that the “Get Going!” invitation to tender may be a bit confusing at the outset due to its formulation which has been kept wide open: “Musicians ere conditioned throughout the last few decades by way of the traditional promotional instruments to develop a certain application behaviour. With the new direction, we are trying to move towards the artists as a supporter and with this reversal to push the free creative thinking back into the focus of attention.” In order to point out the possibilities of “Get Going!”, recipients of last year´s “Get Going!” grants are published on the FONDATION SUISA website as well as the SUISAblog portrait.

www.fondation-suisa.ch

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Last year, FONDATION SUISA awarded four innovation grants under the title “Get Going!” for the first time in order to promote groundbreaking creative concepts outside the usual boxes. The positive reactions that were received were overwhelming. At the end of June 2019, the call for contributions enters its second round. Text by FONDATION SUISA

FONDATION SUISA: “Get Going!” goes into its second round: “We definitely have our fingers on the pulse of our age”

The recipients of the “Get Going!” contributions 2018 (from top left to bottom right): Beat Gysin, the Duo Eclecta, Michael Künstle and Bertrand Denzler. (Photos: Anna Katharina Scheidegger; Andrea Ebener; Zak van Biljon; Rui Pinheiro)

Urs Schnell, Managing Director of FONDATION SUISA, explained the new promotion policy resolved by the foundation council, a year ago: “Instead of patting an artist on the shoulder by awarding them a prize after their success, we invest the money we have available with...read more

Festival Archip-elles – Women Power

The Geneva Festival for contemporary music creation has dedicated itself to music originating from the pen of women for its 2019 event. Archip-elles presents works by female composers of various generations, origin and aesthetics. On Friday, 05 April 2019, SUISA members are invited to a visit at the Festival. Text by Erika Weibel

Festival Archip-elles – Women Power

At the Festival Archip-elles 2019, the focus is on music by female contemporary composers. (Photo: Festival Archipel)

“In an article by the ‘Guardian’, ‘Female composers largely ignored by concert line-ups”, published on 13 June 2018, 1,445 classical concerts were examined which were planned around the world for the 2018-19 season, and the conclusion was drawn that only 76 events featured a work by a woman”, writes Festival director Marc Texier in the Editorial of this year’s festival guide. The Geneva Festival for Contemporary Music Creation creates a counterweight against this gender-based imbalance in the concert world and ensures that the music by female composers is heard at the 2019 event.

The concert programme of this year’s Festival Archip-elles is complemented by installations, round tables and workshops. On Friday morning, 05 April 2019, the Festival organises a workshop, in collaboration with SUISA, on the topic of copyright for students of the “Haute école de musique Genève”, the “Conservatoire populaire de musique” and the participants of the two academies “Académie Archipel” and Composer’s Next Generation (Ensemble Vortex).

Invitation for SUISA members

The Festival Archipel and SUISA cordially invite SUISA members to spend the evening of 05 April 2019 at the Festival. SUISA members who register their participation can attend free of charge. We are looking forward to your registrations until 31 March 2019 at the latest. Please send an e-mail to: kommunikation (at) suisa (dot) ch

A detailed evening programme, to which SUISA members are invited, is listed below. One programme item of particular interest on said evening is the round table discussion on the topic “to be a female composer in Switzerland”.

Round Table Discussion: To be a female composer in Switzerland

What’s it like for female composers to hold their ground in a world dominated by men? Why is it harder for a female composer to get her works to be performed? Why don’t more women choose a career as a composer?

Marc Texier, Festival director, follows up on these questions in a conversation with the two Swiss female composers Katharina Rosenberger and Annette Schmucki as well as with Dr. Irene Minder-Jeanneret, musicologist with a research focus on gender and music.

Once the discussion is over, the stage is open for the musical part of the evening: In a concert with the ensemble Vortex, the work by Swiss composer Barblina Meierhans will have its premiere, among others. Afterwards, Ella Soto will perform on a DJ set.

Detailed programme, where members are invited on Friday, 05 April 2019, at the Festival Archip-elles in Geneva:

5.00pm, Maison communale de Plainpalais
Visit to the installations of Marianthi Papalexandri and Pe Lang

6.00pm, Maison communale de Plainpalais
Drinks and discussion panel: To be a female composer in Switzerland
Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret, musicologist
Katharina Rosenberger, composer
Annette Schmucki, composer
Presentation: Marc Texier

8.00pm, Théâtre Pitoëff
Concert
The ensemble Vortex is going to play works by Barblina Meierhans, Olga Kokcharova, Eva Reiter, Ann Cleare, Clara Iannotta and Jessie Marino.

10.00pm – 1.00 am, Maison communale de Plainpalais
Ella Soto – DJ Set, Carte blanche à La VostokE
La Vostoke is the first radio sender in Switzerland which is a 100% female.

www.archipel.org, festival website

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The Geneva Festival for contemporary music creation has dedicated itself to music originating from the pen of women for its 2019 event. Archip-elles presents works by female composers of various generations, origin and aesthetics. On Friday, 05 April 2019, SUISA members are invited to a visit at the Festival. Text by Erika Weibel

Festival Archip-elles – Women Power

At the Festival Archip-elles 2019, the focus is on music by female contemporary composers. (Photo: Festival Archipel)

“In an article by the ‘Guardian’, ‘Female composers largely ignored by concert line-ups”, published on 13 June 2018, 1,445 classical concerts were examined which were planned around the world for the 2018-19 season, and the conclusion was drawn that only 76 events featured a work by a woman”, writes Festival director Marc Texier in the Editorial of this year’s festival guide. The Geneva...read more

“Get Going” contributions and “Carte Blanche” awarded for the first time

As part of its new funding policy, FONDATION SUISA made four “Get Going!” and one “Carte Blanche” grants for the first time. A “Get Going!” start-up funding of CHF 25,000 each is allocated to Beat Gysin, Bertrand Denzler, Michael Künstle and the Duo Eclecta. The “Carte Blanche” amounting to CHF 80,000 is bestowed to Cécile Marti. Text by FONDATION SUISA

FONDATION SUISA: “Get Going” contributions and “Carte Blanche” awarded for the first time

Composer Cécile Marti is awarded the «Carte Blanche» of FONDATION SUISA which is allocated every two years. (Photo: Ingo Höhn)

As part of its new funding policy, FONDATION SUISA intends to react quickly to the fast-changing music scene. In the “inbetween” area, i.e. away from common genre, age or project categories, creative and artistic processes take place which threaten to end up in no man’s land when it comes to the current application process.

As a consequence, four “Get Going!” contributions with CHF 25,000 each have been offered as awards in June, for the first time. “With this annual bidding process, we try to locate creative places and artistic visions which deserve to be funded” said Urs Schnell, FONDATION SUISA MD. “As a consequence, the competition is kept open deliberately.”

With more than 90 bids, the “Get Going!” contributions have had an enormous response among music creators. “The expert jury hasn’t made it too easy for itself to select four recipients from the many highly interesting bids”, Schnell adds. From the description of the artistic purposes that are now funded, it is easy to gauge what this type of start-up funding actually is all about. “At the end of the day, music is about discovering new worlds time and again, to render items audible and tangible and to fathom new perspectives” according to Schnell.

“Get Going!” contributions 2018

The composer Beat Gysin, for example, creates architectonic spaces in the course of his “Leichtbautenreihe” (series of light structures), where unusual audio situations enable the listener new ways to perceive music. Gysin thus investigates the dynamic possibilities resulting from the relationship between space, music and the recipient/listener.

“Space” is also a concept that Michael Künstle is interested in. The composer of film and concert music pairs orchestral tradition with modern innovation in terms of composition and recording in order to create a space composition which becomes accessible in the form of a three-dimensional listening experience.

Saxophonist and composer Bertrand Denzler, on the other hand, locates new compository possibilities via a deliberate non-allocation of his creations to spaces. With a “migrating residence”, he attempts an improvisatory and compository exchange with foreign cultures. The constant dialogue with ever-changing influences is intended to show the way which eventually flows into compository results.

Andrina Bollinger and Marena Whitcher, aka Duo Eclecta, are strolling through interdisciplinary terrain. The singers, performers, multi-instrumentalists, producers and composers collaborate continually with other art forms in order to create new audible, visible and sensible worlds of experience.

“Carte Blanche” to Cécile Marti

The “Carte Blanche amounting to CHF 80,000 which is not offered as part of a bidding process but directly awarded by an expert jury every other year, is intended to enable music creators to focus on their artistic progress without suffering from financial pressures.

Those who have followed the creative career of Cécile Marti over the last years know that the artist originating from Zurich is a worthy recipient of this “Carte Blanche”. Especially her orchestra cycle, “Seven Towers” in 7 parts and for 120 musicians, which had its première concert performed by the SOBS orchestra in Biel in 2016, and has since its inception also been performed by the Berne Symphony Orchestra, the Geneva Camerata and the Basel Sinfonietta, has caused a sensation.

Simultaneously, Marti graduated with a dissertation on musical time course. The “Carte Blanche” now enables her to transfer her initial research in this area into an artistic context. Explored courses of time shall be made visible with the aid of a ballet and by way of sculptures (Marti is also a stone sculptor).

www.fondation-suisa.ch

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As part of its new funding policy, FONDATION SUISA made four “Get Going!” and one “Carte Blanche” grants for the first time. A “Get Going!” start-up funding of CHF 25,000 each is allocated to Beat Gysin, Bertrand Denzler, Michael Künstle and the Duo Eclecta. The “Carte Blanche” amounting to CHF 80,000 is bestowed to Cécile Marti. Text by FONDATION SUISA

FONDATION SUISA: “Get Going” contributions and “Carte Blanche” awarded for the first time

Composer Cécile Marti is awarded the «Carte Blanche» of FONDATION SUISA which is allocated every two years. (Photo: Ingo Höhn)

As part of its new funding policy, FONDATION SUISA intends to react quickly to the fast-changing music scene. In the “inbetween” area, i.e. away from common genre, age or project categories, creative and artistic processes take place which threaten to end up in no man’s land when it comes to the current application...read more

“SUISA Day” at the Murten Classics Festival proves a resounding success

The programme of the Murten Classics Festival included a full day of contemporary music on 25 August 2018 as part of the concert series “Offen für Neues”. The concert day, supported by SUISA and recorded by Radio SRF 2 Kultur, met with a positive response all round. Text by Manu Leuenberger

Belenus Quartett: “SUISA Day” at the Murten Classics Festival proves a resounding success

In the third and final concert of the “Offen für Neues” series on 25 August 2018 at the Murten Classics Festival, the Belenus Quartet performed works by Daniel Schnyder, Cécile Marti, Iris Szeghy and Marco Antonio Perez-Ramirez. (Photo: Willi Piller)

The programme for this outstanding day of concerts at the Murten Classics Festival began early, with guests arriving in numbers at the Kultur im Beaulieu (KiB) concert hall in Murten in time for the opening speech by the musicologist Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret at 10:00 am. The three-concert series, featuring works by 13 contemporary composers, attracted interest from far beyond the region’s borders. In a review published two days after the event, the “Freiburger Nachrichten” wrote: “There was hardly a spare seat inside the cultural centre.”

The festival guide had announced the SUISA-supported day of concerts in the “Offen für Neues” series as “a day of encounter”. This proved to be true in several respects on the day itself on Saturday, 25 August 2018: thanks to the wide range of works performed, the audience had a chance to discover the tonal variety of the contemporary compositions. Many of the composers whose pieces were played had travelled to Murten themselves, where they provided insights into their musical philosophy in short introductory speeches. The musicians in attendance also engaged in lively discussions during the breaks between the three concerts.

Well organised, interpreted and integrated

One of the ideas behind the day was “not to try and impress with premières, but instead to show a broad musical spectrum”, explained Roman Brotbeck, who as the moderator guided the audience through the programme. Andreas Zurbriggen praised this approach in his review in “Schweizer Musikzeitung” (September/October 2018). According to him, there are enough world premières, but the same cannot be said of second and third performances of contemporary pieces. Zurbriggen believes the organisers succeeded in their aim, with the artistic director, Kaspar Zehnder, demonstrating his talent for putting together a programme and “allowing different worlds to collide”. “And the interpretations, such as those of the Belenus Quartet, the pianist Gilles Grimaître and Ensemble mit vier, were of a very high standard”, wrote the reviewer in the same article.

The review of the concert day in the “Freiburger Nachrichten” concluded by saying: “It’s good that there is a place for these kinds of experiments in the festival programme alongside the popular concerts.” The ambitious “Offen für Neues” one-day project of the Murten Classics Festival and SUISA met with a positive response all round, as also shown by the feedback from the participants below.

In its programme “Neue Musik im Konzert” on Wednesday, 7 November 2018 at 9 pm, Radio SRF 2 Kultur will play excerpts from the three concerts held on 25 August 2018.

Katrin Frauchiger

In her short introductory speech, composer Katrin Frauchiger from Berne explained her piece “Mare nostrum” for flute and string trio, which was subsequently played in concert. (Photo: Willi Piller)

Katrin Frauchiger, composer and singer, lecturer HSLU:

“As a composer, I greatly appreciate the joint commitment made by Murten Classics and SUISA in hosting an entire day of contemporary music. The organisers’ courage in sending out an important message within the context of the Murten Festival paid off in every respect: the event attracted a large audience of extremely interested people who were open to new music.
Three fresh, carefully curated concerts were presented with a speech and introduction, and each had an inspiring theme for the listener: Waves from another world / Immigration-Emigration / Roots and great places. In a conversation with Roman Brotbeck, I had the opportunity to personally introduce my piece ‘Mare Nostrum’ and thus open the door to a beautiful performance of my music. The other composers present also had the same opportunity. The interaction between the audience and the composers was equally valuable, some of whom had travelled from afar.”

Irene Minder-Jeanneret

“An architect can make a living from their compositions, but this is hardly true for a composer”, said the musicologist Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret during the opening speech, going on to explain why Swiss music artists deserve more recognition. (Photo: Willi Piller)

Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret, musicologist, member of the Dictionary of Music in Switzerland steering group:

“SUISA Day offered a valuable and rare tour of both the music industry and the cultural-political significance of music in Switzerland. It illustrated the gap between the lively and exceptional musical reality in our country and the lack of political recognition. Although a third of the population is actively involved in making music, Switzerland is still not perceived as a musical country. Creating, making, teaching, distributing and documenting music are equal facets of an important cultural sector, and they deserve to be recognised, promoted and made known at all political levels. Just as in the film industry, there are some activities in the musical field that cannot be supported by the cantons alone.
As a member of the Dictionary of Music in Switzerland steering group, SUISA Day gave me a unique opportunity to talk to participants from all areas of music. Without doubt, the event also helped to raise awareness of the individual concerns.”

Kaspar Zehnder

The artistic director of the Murten Classics Festival, Kaspar Zehnder, also played the flute at SUISA Day. (Photo: Willi Piller)

Kaspar Zehnder, artistic director of Murten Classics and curator of the first ‘SUISA Day’ on 25 August 2018:

“The heterogeneity and diversity of the programme made for an interesting and exciting day. Through combination of a wide variety of aesthetics, it provided the perfect stage for the audience, composers, presenters and performers to engage in lively discussions, or to enjoy a slice of Murten cream cake and a glass of red wine from Vully in rapt silence.
At the very least, SUISA Day should become a biennial tradition at the Murten Classics.”

www.murtenclassics.ch

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The programme of the Murten Classics Festival included a full day of contemporary music on 25 August 2018 as part of the concert series “Offen für Neues”. The concert day, supported by SUISA and recorded by Radio SRF 2 Kultur, met with a positive response all round. Text by Manu Leuenberger

Belenus Quartett: “SUISA Day” at the Murten Classics Festival proves a resounding success

In the third and final concert of the “Offen für Neues” series on 25 August 2018 at the Murten Classics Festival, the Belenus Quartet performed works by Daniel Schnyder, Cécile Marti, Iris Szeghy and Marco Antonio Perez-Ramirez. (Photo: Willi Piller)

The programme for this outstanding day of concerts at the Murten Classics Festival began early, with guests arriving in numbers at the Kultur im Beaulieu (KiB) concert hall in Murten in time for the opening speech by the musicologist Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret...read more

Open for a new things at the Festival Murten Classics

On Saturday 25 August 2018, the Festival Murten Classics and SUISA extend an invitation to immerse yourself into the world of contemporary music for one day. Three concerts with works by 13 composers of various generations, origins and aesthetics will be performed. The supporting programme will provide the audience with a possibility to learn more about being ‘on the way’ in today’s musical environment or to talk about the new compositions. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

Open for a new things at the Festival Murten Classics

Composer Cécile Marti spent time for her musical studies in Zurich, Lucerne and Basel and worked on her dissertation in London. Her string quartet “Trapez” is one of 13 works which will be performed on 25/08/2018 in the concert series “Open for new things” at the Festival Murten Classics. (Photo: Suzie Maeder)

The Festival Murten Classics is celebrating 30 years of existence this year. Its anniversary event takes place between 12 August and 2 September 2018. This year’s festival programme is under the motto “On the road – en chemin” and intends to facilitate musical time travel through five centuries. It intentionally places terms with a negative connotation such as flight, migration and emigration side to side with inspiring travels and journeys of composers and artists.

For quite some time, the Festival Murten Classics has been curating contemporary music repertoire in its concert series “Open for new things”. The artistic director of the festival, Kaspar Zehnder, states in an interview with the ‘Freiburger Nachrichten’ that “these concerts appeal to the curiosity of the audience, and the audience is usually not disappointed”.

In collaboration with SUISA, the Festival programme offers an entire day of encounters this year: In the course of the concert series “Open for new things”, three concerts with works of 13 different contemporary composers will be performed in the cultural centre in the Beaulieu Park in Murten between the morning and the late afternoon on Saturday, 25 August 2018.

The audience can, as part of a supporting programme including the opportunity to have lunch, find out more from experts and artists about today’s life as a music creator and current music creation, or discuss these items. Apart from an introduction at the kickoff in the morning, chaired discussion groups with the attending composers are held during the day, where the audience may also ask questions on the creation and the journey of the works.

True to this year’s festival motto “On the road – en chemin”, the works performed on this day will be by authors who are “on the road” yet related to Switzerland. These composers have emigrated from Switzerland, migrated to Switzerland, but always been in another spot or fled from place to place.

Visitors on that day of the musical encounters can find out what kind of soundscapes develop based on these life paths and life experiences. Day tickets for this event on 25 August 2018 in the concert series “Open for new things” can be acquired inclusive or exclusive of lunch on the website of the festival.


Programme: “Open for new things”, a day of encounters at the Murten Classics

25 August 2018

Event venue
The Kleintheater KiB (Kultur im Beaulieu)

Motto: On the road – en chemin.
Various interpretations of a festival theme
Emigrated from Switzerland
Migrated to Switzerland
Always on the road
On the run

10 o’clock – INTRODUCTION
Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret
Presentation: Dr. Roman Brotbeck

Concert 1 (approx. 11.00 – 12.00)
WAVES FROM ANOTHER WORLD

Giorgio Tedde (*1958): Atlas (2005) for flute and string trio
Katrin Frauchiger (*1967): Mare nostrum (2015) for flute and string trio
Aram Hovhannisyan (*1984): Litanies I-IV (2008/09) for piano
Jean-Luc Darbellay (*1946): Waves (2011) for flute and alto flute
Fritz Voegelin (*1943): Dual (2009/10) for alto flute and string trio

Ana Ioana Oltean, flute
Gilles Grimaître, piano
Ensemble for four: Kaspar Zehnder, flute / alto flute; Charlotte Zehnder, violin; Dorothee Schmid, viola; Urs Fischer, violoncello

Concert 2 (approx. 13.30 – 14.30)
IMMIGRATION – EMIGRATION

Maria Niederberger (*1949): Mountain visions (2009/10) for solo violin
Maria Niederberger (*1949): Hommage à Frédéric Chopin (2008/09) for solo piano
Thomas Fortmann (*1951): Burlesque “Elena e Greta” for two flutes and piano
Jan Beran (*1959): “Strange words the wind tossed” for violin and piano
Jan Beran (*1959): “Leis wie eine Märchenweise” for solo piano
Wael Sami Elkholy (*1976): “Skies’ Calls“ (2011) for voice and tape

René Kubelik, violin
Patrizio Mazzola, piano
Ana Ioana Oltean, flute
Kaspar Zehnder, flute
Wael Sami Elkholy, voice

Concert 3 (approx. 16.00 – 17.00)
ROOTS AND GREAT PLACES

Daniel Schnyder (*1961): 4th String quartet “Great places” – Shanghai 1928, Havana 1952, Paris 1901, Casablanca 1933, New York City 1964
Cécile Marti (*1973): Trapez (2012)
Iris Szeghy (*1956): Aria (2007/16)
Marco Antonio Perez-Ramirez (*1964): Primitive Dream (2009)

Belenus Quartet: Seraina Pfenninger, violin; Anne Battegay, violin; Esther Fritzsche, viola; Jonas Vischi, violoncello

www.murtenclassics.ch

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On Saturday 25 August 2018, the Festival Murten Classics and SUISA extend an invitation to immerse yourself into the world of contemporary music for one day. Three concerts with works by 13 composers of various generations, origins and aesthetics will be performed. The supporting programme will provide the audience with a possibility to learn more about being ‘on the way’ in today’s musical environment or to talk about the new compositions. Text by Erika Weibel and Manu Leuenberger

Open for a new things at the Festival Murten Classics

Composer Cécile Marti spent time for her musical studies in Zurich, Lucerne and Basel and worked on her dissertation in London. Her string quartet “Trapez” is one of 13 works which will be performed on 25/08/2018 in the concert series “Open for new things” at the Festival Murten Classics. (Photo: Suzie Maeder)

The Festival Murten...read more

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

By placing four Swiss composers in the limelight on Wednesday 21 March 2018, Festival Archipel demonstrated that Swiss composers are still very present in contemporary music. Text by guest author Sébastien Cayet

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss composer who was born in Zurich and works in the US, and festival director Marc Texier at the introductory discussion for the “Swiss Concert Evening“ at the Festival Archipel on 21 March 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

With the support of SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers, Archipel proposed an evening in two parts. In cooperation with SUISA, Marc Texier, General Manager of the Festival, invited Swiss composers Katharina Rosenberger and Michael Pelzel for a pre-concert interview. This was a good opportunity to hear about their activities, influences, composition methods and projects.

The least one can say is that their influences are at opposite ends of the spectrum: Katharina Rosenberger draws her musical references from the Renaissance, namely Willaert and De Rore in particular, while Michael Pelzel willingly avows that, in his piece he used Indian and African techniques to create a contrast between western and non-European music, and between tradition and innovation. The range of their activities does not, however, stop at composition; one teaches in the United States, the other plays the organ.

This means that neither of them have to rely solely on composing for their livelihood; they agree that the surge in streaming, is eliminating – or strongly eroding – CDs and live shows, which are an important source of income for them. Fortunately for the composers, SUISA is committed to safeguarding their copyrights, and makes sure they are remunerated when their compositions are performed.

Swiss creations and international creations

After the interview, the concert was ready to start. Four pieces are on the programme: two Swiss creations, namely “Tempi agitati“ by Katharina Rosenberger and “Ante Litteram“ by Oscar Bianchi, and two international creations, namely “Etüdienbuch zu Diabelli“ by Michael Pelzel and “Präludien Buch 1-4“ by Mischa Käser.

The Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, a German vocal ensemble, performed a customised repertoire composed especially for them. They had already performed the piece by Oscar Bianchi in 2012 and that by Katharina Rosenberger in 2016.

In “Tempi agitati“ – performed in an abridged version that evening – Katharina Rosenberger creates contrasted settings thanks to alternating aesthetics and a staging based on the acoustics and architecture of the concert hall. The performance starts in the dark. The soloists are sitting among the audience. Suddenly, one of them starts a dialogue of onomatopoeia. With precision, the vocalists answer, wait for and interrupt one another. They then come together on stage and strike up a polyphonic song in Renaissance style, with a nod to Adrian Willaert and Cipriano de Rore.

In revisiting the music of the Renaissance, the composer is seeking the natural sound of the voice. The voices of the soloists are pure, linear and without artifice – but not without emotion. The beginning of “Tempi agitati“ is characteristic of the piece; the singers move about the room, alternate and juxtapose the aesthetics, tempi and characters, and finish like they started: in the dark, offstage and non visible to the audience.

Each musical effect has a meaning

In “Ante Litteram“, Oscar Bianchi is inspired by David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest“ and Nietzsche’s “Antechrist“ where he finds “the same empathy and lucidity in the exploration of the reasons preventing man from achieving deeper self-knowledge and self-awareness”. The piece has three underlying themes: evil, morality and salvation, and each musical effect has a meaning.

After a beginning spoken in homorhythm, the voices stagger out slowly, adopting different rhythms and renditions, like clear and coherent thought which becomes lost in the meanders of the mind. The dissonance between the sopranos, for example, evokes pain, the imitated laughter tends towards absurdity, while the variations in pace run parallel to the variation of our own internal agitation.

Diabelli, in the work of Michael Pelzel, refers neither to the composer Anton Diabelli, nor to Beethoven’s “Diabelli variations“. “Etüdenbuch zu Diabelli“ for six voices a cappella is based on a story by Hermann Burger in which a magician decides to put an end to his life as an artist. The studies, which can be sung in random order, play on the rhythms provoked by the synchronisation and desynchronisation of the voices. Moreover, the tempi are sometimes superimposed, with the female and male voices beating to different pulsations so that the voices enter into opposition.

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart lived up to expectations

To end the evening, Mischer Käser’s “Präludien Buch 1-4“ was rich in musical elements: superposed effects – spoken voice, operatic cell, rhythmic cell – rendering the voices independent from each other, dramatisation, with sighing, breathing and perfectly synchronised surprise effects. The composer wanted “exotic song techniques to cohabit with familiar sounds and make them alien”. Surprise and originality are the characteristic features of the work, as well as the dichotomy between the western form of the prelude and the “exotic techniques” used.

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart lived up to our expectations; the apparent ease with which they performed the virtuoso repertoire was disconcerting. There is no question about their versatility in mastering the works, effects and even the aesthetics. The performance highlighted the perfect understanding and osmosis between the members of the group which enables them to grasp every aspect of these virtuoso works and transcend them in their interpretation.

www.archipel.org

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By placing four Swiss composers in the limelight on Wednesday 21 March 2018, Festival Archipel demonstrated that Swiss composers are still very present in contemporary music. Text by guest author Sébastien Cayet

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss composer who was born in Zurich and works in the US, and festival director Marc Texier at the introductory discussion for the “Swiss Concert Evening“ at the Festival Archipel on 21 March 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

With the support of SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers, Archipel proposed an evening in two parts. In cooperation with SUISA, Marc Texier, General Manager of the Festival, invited Swiss composers Katharina Rosenberger and Michael Pelzel for a pre-concert interview. This was a good opportunity to hear about their activities, influences, composition methods and projects.

The least...read more

Composition in time and space

On Saturday, 23 September 2017, during the Basel Biennale Zeiträume (‘spaces in time’), which unifies new music and architecture, one female and three male composers will discuss at an open platform how their works are created. Text by Erika Weibel

Composition in time and space

The Basel Biennale for new music and architecture hosts a composer panel under the title “creating spaces in time” on 23 September 2017 at 3.00pm. (Photo: Anna Katharina Scheidegger)

From 16 to 24 September 2017, Basel is opening its doors to an exciting listening experience: New music can be heard in the most unusual nooks and crannies of Basel’s alleys. Both young and old are invited to participate in this musical adventure. There is, for example, the indoor swimming pool performance of “Wasserspiel” (Compositions and improvisations for changing line-ups in the indoor swimming pool Spiegelfeld Binningen), but you can also enjoy the experience of an Alpine horn concert on the Basel Münsterplatz. Museums, towers, even cemeteries open their doors to the new music and provide the public with the opportunity to enjoy a completely new perception of time and space.

The festival Zeiträume stands out by commissioning composers to create works for pre-determined event spaces which will then have their première during the festival. The attentive listener does therefore not only benefit from listening to a variety of premières, but can witness which effect and impact the actual event space has had on the work of the composers.

Composer panel

A female and three male composers whose works have their premières during this year’s Biennale, will exchange their views during the public discussion “creating spaces in time” on 23 September 2017. How much have you been inspired by the event spaces in terms of composing your work? How do the works come into existence and for whom are they written? The composers speak of their work and provide information on their new works which they have created for the festival.

Free entrance – reservation required

Grab the opportunity to listen to the exchange of ideas among composers and to ask questions. You are also cordially invited to the ensuing aperitif where you can join in the continuation of philosophical conversations on the topic of creating compositions in time and space.

Werkraum Warteck PP / Restaurant Don Camillo, Burgweg 7, 4058 Basel
23 September, 3.00pm
Panel participants: Beat Gysin, Junghae Lee, Mario Pagliarani, Balthasar Streiff
Presentation: Bernhard Günther

Further information and a programme of the festival Zeiträume can be accessed at: www.zeitraeumebasel.com

The composers’ panel will be presented by SUISA.

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On Saturday, 23 September 2017, during the Basel Biennale Zeiträume (‘spaces in time’), which unifies new music and architecture, one female and three male composers will discuss at an open platform how their works are created. Text by Erika Weibel

Composition in time and space

The Basel Biennale for new music and architecture hosts a composer panel under the title “creating spaces in time” on 23 September 2017 at 3.00pm. (Photo: Anna Katharina Scheidegger)

From 16 to 24 September 2017, Basel is opening its doors to an exciting listening experience: New music can be heard in the most unusual nooks and crannies of Basel’s alleys. Both young and old are invited to participate in this musical adventure. There is, for example, the indoor swimming pool performance of “Wasserspiel” (Compositions and improvisations for changing line-ups in the indoor swimming...read more

Career and calling | plus video

How do I found and run an ensemble for contemporary music? Where do I get subsidies for my music projects from? What is the purpose of SUISA and Swissperform? How do I distribute my works via the internet? Impressions gathered during the first ever “Journée d’orientation professionelle” at the Festival Archipel 2017. Text, photo and video by Manu Leuenberger

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, at the Festival Archipel in Geneva, it was possible to witness the reasons why music can be both career and calling. During the day, an information event took place for young music creators. Based on their wealth of expertise and experience, 12 field experts shared their input in presentations which included many tips on how to enter a career as a musician.

The video impressions only grant a glimpse into the expansive range of topics which were discussed. Further presentations during this first ever “Journée d’orientation professionelle”, the organisation of which was supported by SUISA, were given by: Johannes Knapp – Director of the STV/ASM (Association of Swiss Musicians), Damien Pousset – Founder of the Aeon label, François Passard (Director) und Alain Renaud (Head of the production studio) of L’Abri, Lucas Fagin – composer and co-director of Babelscores, Bruno Serrou – music critic and Marie-Christine Papillon – Director of Papillon publishing.

Career and calling | plus video

Inspiration and profession were also touched upon during the discussions with composers on 01 April 2017 at the Festival Archipel prior to the evening concert in the Alhambra. On the podium, on the far right: Xavier Dayer, President of the SUISA Board.

In the evening prior to the concert in the Alhambra, a public discussion with composers was held. Xavier Dayer, President of the SUISA Board, was also on the podium. The audience at the well attended event found out why copyright remuneration is particularly important for composers who do not receive any concert fees. Due to the copyright remuneration they receive for their work, composers such as Hanspeter Kyburz, William Blank or Tristan Murail can create works like the ones that were performed in the concert just after the discussion by the Lemanic Modern Ensemble.

www.archipel.org, festival website

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

How do I found and run an ensemble for contemporary music? Where do I get subsidies for my music projects from? What is the purpose of SUISA and Swissperform? How do I distribute my works via the internet? Impressions gathered during the first ever “Journée d’orientation professionelle” at the Festival Archipel 2017. Text, photo and video by Manu Leuenberger

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, at the Festival Archipel in Geneva, it was possible to witness the reasons why music can be both career and calling. During the day, an information event took place for young music creators. Based on their wealth of expertise and experience, 12 field experts shared their input in presentations which included many tips on how to enter a career as a musician.

The video impressions only grant a glimpse...read more

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

Now for the 26th time, the Archipel Festival offers an opportunity for a rendez-vous with contemporary music creation between 24 March and 02 April 2017. For the first time, SUISA will be involved in the Archipel Festival this year. With SUISA’s support, an info day for young music creators will be held on 01 April 2017, as well as a public talk session with composers. More in the interview with festival director Marc Texier which has been carried out in writing. Text/interview by Manu Leuenberger

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

“The Archipel Festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and present contemporary music in all of its forms”, writes Marc Texier, Director of the Geneva Archipel Festival. (Photo: Festival Archipel / Isabelle Meister)

Marc Texier, the 26th occurrence of the Archipel Festival between 24 March and 02 April 2017 in Geneva will be held under the motto “ensemble”. What’s behind this slogan?
Marc Texier: Under the motto “ensemble”, Archipel 2017 celebrates the important art of joint creation, which would be nice if we could see it transferred to other communities and which is extensively practised by the young musicians’ generation. We would like to offer it a broad concert platform.

What is the greater motivation when it comes to organising a festival: The desire to provide contemporary composers and artists with a shop window or to entice a wider audience for New Music?
The festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and to make the transition from university to work life easier. Its intention is also to present contemporary music in all of its forms and to pave the way to New Music for a big audience. The festival follows a dramaturgic script and provides the platform for the sound of living material of an art form which is reinventing itself.

Works of contemporary composers are often doomed to a life in the shadows when it comes to the programmes of traditional concert halls. Why is it that people prefer to perform Bach rather than New Music?
If only it was Bach; but it’s usually rather Tchaikovsky. That’s a question you should ask the representatives of orchestras and concert halls. Where does this strong restraint vis-a-vis contemporary music creation come from? It’s not always dictated by the audience, as they are curious, how I could determine time and again. It’s the structures, orchestras, opera houses, radios which hold on to music which dominated the time of its creation in the 19th and 20th century. What people forget is that the music back then was the most important carrier of modern times. We’re facing a museum-like approach rather than the joy of discovery. Thank God, however, there are exceptions.

Under the auspices of the Académie Archipel Ose! which takes place for the first time and is run by Kaija Saariaho and Daniel Kawka, 6 young composers may take a one-week course in symphonic composition for the first time. What’s the point of an education when there are no more rules and everything is allowed in music nowadays?
Edgar Varèse, one of the ‘fathers’ of New Music, wanted to reduce the rules (grammar) and only follow the (mainly acoustic) laws. Here we are now. There are basically no more rules, just what you need to channel your own imagination. What still applies are the physical laws of sound, its source and how it spreads. There are thousands of techniques to construct a work, to dominate its form, the musical discourse. And finally, computer science also belongs to the pragmatic and necessary instruments of music composition. Once all of that has been acquired, the most substantial factor comes along: to find your own voice, to create something of your own. Colleges, where people of the most diverse backgrounds and varied careers get together, are a help to achieve this: Once the young musicians have learned about the “laws” at the conservatoire, they discover their own “self” when meeting other composers of their generation.

What kind of challenges does a budding Swiss composer master so that his works gain international recognition?
The same as a Frenchman or a Korean woman. Since the wall came down, and many countries have gained access to relative wealth, music creation has been heavily internationalised. The candidates for the Académie Archipel Ose! came from no less than 30 countries on five continents. They are expected to bring along a solid theoretical and practical basic knowledge, imagination and originality, since they travel from academy to academy around the world in order to complete their education and to be able to gain international recognition.

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, a “Journée d’orientation professionnelle” for young composers and artists will be held, co-produced with SUISA. Access to this event in ‘L’Abri’ is free of charge. What does this event have in store for a young music creator?
As newcomers, we have all had the unsettling experience that there is a gap between our career ambitions and professional reality. We cannot change that altogether, but we can help young musician, composers and artists to get to know the environment in which they will be active. This includes administrative, legal, technical and human constraints which they are subjected to when they perform their music for which they were specifically trained. Musical professions – ranging from music critic to publishers of music score and from orchestra musician to creators of sound – have been fundamentally changed as a consequence of the computerisation of music creation, the dematerialisation of carriers, the disappearance of boundaries between the art forms, and the replacement of traditional dissemination channels such as TV, radio and print media by social networks. Experts that have been invited to attend this event will be addressing these issues.

How about yourself: What kind of events from this year’s festival programme are you not going to miss under any circumstance?
I will, of course, attend them all, and can therefore not really answer this question. As a connoisseur of New Music, I would not wish to miss out on the creations of our four most important contemporary composers: Murail, Kyburz, Gervasoni and Blank, in the course of the concert of the Lemanic Modern Ensemble on 01 April. If I wanted to have an introduction to contemporary music unknown to me, and wanted to be able to ask various artists questions in a pleasant atmosphere, I wouldn’t want to miss the afternoon of 2 April to the ‘salons de musique’, which are dedicated to the contrabass clarinet and the drums.

www.archipel.org, festival website

“Journée d’orientation professionnelle”
I am a young composer and at the beginning of my career. Where can I complete my education and training? At which academy? How do I introduce myself? I have founded an ensemble: How do I get it to become well-known, how do I develop and run it? Do I have to register with a collective management organisation? What’s better: paper or ‘dematerialised’ editions? Can I upload my music on the internet for free? Where can I work in an multidisciplinary manner? Where do I distribute my work? These and many more questions are what young artists are asking themselves at the beginning of their careers. We attempt to answer them in the course of meetings with lawyers, publishers, teachers and music producers. The event is under the auspices of SUISA and intended to facilitate the career entry for young musicians. It is open to everyone. (Text: Archipel Festival)
Saturday, 01 April 2017 at the ‘L’Abri – A2’, free admission
10:00-10:10 Welcome speech by Bernard Meier – President of the Archipel Association responsible for the workshops of the music conservatoire HEM
10:10-10:30 Nicolas Pont – Head of SUISA Legal Services
10:30-10:50 David Johnson – responsible for Swissperform’s branch office in the French-speaking part of Switzerland
10:50-11:10 Johannes Knapp – Director of the STV/ASM
11:20-11:40 Damien Pousset – Founder of the Aeon label
11:40-12:00 Andri Hardmeier – Head of the Music Division of Pro Helvetia
12:00-12:20 François Passard (Director) and Alain Renaud (Manager of the production studio) of the ‘L’Abri’
Break
13:30-13:50 Marc Texier – Archipel Director
13:50-14:10 Daniel Zea – Composer and founding member of the Ensemble Vortex
14:10-14:30 Tzairi Santos Garcia – responsible for the digital development at Outhere Music
14:30-14:50 Lucas Fagin – Composer and co-director of Babelscores
15:00-15:20 Bruno Serrou – Music critic
15:20-15:40 Marie-Christine Papillon – Director of Papillon Publishing
15:40-16.00 Conclusion/Debrief
Conversations with composers
With Hanspeter Kyburz, Stefano Gervasoni, William Blank, Tristan Murail, Xavier Dayer. Presented by Marc Texier.

Saturday, 01 April 2017, 20.00 hrs
Alhambra, free admission

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

Your email address will not be published.

Now for the 26th time, the Archipel Festival offers an opportunity for a rendez-vous with contemporary music creation between 24 March and 02 April 2017. For the first time, SUISA will be involved in the Archipel Festival this year. With SUISA’s support, an info day for young music creators will be held on 01 April 2017, as well as a public talk session with composers. More in the interview with festival director Marc Texier which has been carried out in writing. Text/interview by Manu Leuenberger

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

“The Archipel Festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and present contemporary music in all of its forms”, writes Marc Texier, Director of the Geneva Archipel Festival. (Photo: Festival Archipel / Isabelle Meister)

Marc Texier, the 26th occurrence of the Archipel Festival...read more